So, apart from the excellent indirect, anecdotal evidence, and the books and the documentaries, that ancient miners and excavators found dinosaur remains, which of course they would have, absolutely obviously with hindsight, way before Cuvier, are there any actual links to academic findings. What does Wiki say?
There is a very interesting text by Pliny in which he tells us how the mayor Marcus Aemilius Scaurus, in the year 58 BC, brought to Rome and exhibited the fossil remains of a monster which appeared in Joppa , the present Jaffa , next to Tel-Aviv . Ancient people traditionally placed the episode of the myth of Perseus and Andromeda in Joppa (see in this blog itself. http://www.antiquitatem.com/en/perseus-andromeda-medusa-pegasus-danae ).
Strabo, XVI, 2.28 (759); Mela, I, 11/64; Pliny NH V, 13/69; Josephus Bello Iudaico, III, 9.3 (420); Pausanias, IV, 35.6; Jerome, Comm. Ad Ion., I, 3 also placed the episode there, or at least they said that remains of the chains of Andromeda emerged from the rock. Alost all of them mention that remains of Andromeda´s chains emerged from the rock of Joppa .
Naturally the remains brought by Scaurus were identified with the sea monster that was supposed to devour Andromeda .
Pliny [23-79 AD] tells us, NH IX, 4/11:
M. Scaurus, in his ædileship, exhibited at Rome, among other wonderful things, the bones of the monster to which Andromeda was said to have been exposed, and which he had brought from Joppa, a city of Judæa. These bones exceeded forty feet in length (about 13 meters), and the ribs were higher than those of the Indian elephant, while the back-bone was a foot and a half in thickness (about 45 centimeters).
Suetonius [69-122 AD], also makes a reference to fossil remains of large animals when he refers to the “villae” of Augustus and says in Life of Augustus 72 3
Those of his own, which were far from being spacious, he adorned, not so much with statues and pictures, as with walks and groves, and things which were curious either for their antiquity or rarity; such as, at Capri, the huge limbs of sea-monsters and wild beasts, which some affect to call the bones of giants; and also the arms of ancient heroes. (J. Eugene Reed. Alexander Thomson. Philadelphia. Gebbie & Co. 1889.)
The above writer Antonio Marco Martínez mentions Adrienne Mayor.
I’m astounded at my ignorance of these ancient historical findings. If Rome found dinosaur bones, and Greece, and China, so did Persia, Babylon, Assyria, Egypt. Even the Jews. Especially the intelligentsia exposed to all of these cultures.